Aboriginal Reading Champions


Nicola Campbell

“Stories have sustained us since time immemorial through laughter, inspiration, tears, despair and most importantly, they have sustained teachings about our sacred lands, waterways, governance and histories. Our elders say stories are alive, they heal and they can sing. Stories awaken the hearts and minds of children, parents and all people. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art, performance or music, I choose stories of joy, resurgence and transformation because these are medicine for our people. What do you choose?”

Duncan McCue

“Read! Read to escape. Read to make friends. Read to experience whole other worlds where, yes – magic exists. Be a knowledge warrior! Read to fight. Read to survive.”

Bob Rae

“Reading opens up the world. And it allows everyone to learn more about who we are, where we come from, how we dream and imagine, and how to build a better country and a better world.”

Arlene Perly Rae

“As the saying goes, even the oldest books are brand new to those who have yet to read them”. Access to a wide variety and quantity of books, both on and off reserve and — perhaps most importantly, to many more of their own rich and powerful stories and history — will open up a world of pleasure and opportunity for First Nations people that will, ideally, be heartily embraced and is long overdue.”

Richard Wagamese

“READ! Every book is a doorway to a hundred other doorways that allow you to see the world. To read is to open yourself to the possibility of everything. To read is to set yourself free, to become more, to live thousands of other lives and to catch a bit of heaven in your hand one word, one story at a time.”

Richard Van Camp

“I read a quote once that said, ‘They say you can learn to do anything in the whole wide world–if you know how to read.’ I think about that quote every day. Nothing beats meeting characters you’ll think about years after you put a book down; nothing beats a good cry from an emotional story; nothing beats the dread of not wanting a great book to ever end, and you can always count on books for inspiration. I would not be the person I am today had it not been for so many of my literary heroes and discoveries. Everyone deserves to read. It’s daily magic. Mahsi cho! Have fun!”

Verna Kirkness

“My grandfather lived to be 104 years old. He was literate in both Cree and English. As I became more educated with degrees, he said to me one day, “You are still not as smart as your grandfather”. He then picked up a newsletter written in both Cree syllabics and English and began to read both versions.

He was right! Reading is the core to all learning. If we really think about it, how many times in the day do we read outside of the formal classroom. I read recipes to cook: I turn on my computer to read my e-mails, and look up information or addresses; I read novels. I can’t picture not knowing how to read. Read to grow!”